Totally Captivated 1
December 15, 2009
Hajin Yoo – Netcomics – 2008 – 6 volumes
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d like this series. I don’t generally like mob-oriented stories (with the possible exception of Banana Fish, but the crime was less organized there), and multi-volume lukewarm BL series drive me crazy with their crappiness. Not being sure I’d like something has never stopped me from buying every volume of a series on sale before though, so I decided to go ahead and try it anyway.
It’s much, much different than what I imagined. This is due in large part to Ewon, the main character. He seems to live a pretty free and loose life. The reason he works for the mob is shaky at best, but he takes the terrifying boss Mookyul in stride and does his best to maybe make some money while he’s doing all this work. The fact that the characters are gay is just assumed and never discussed. Ewon is not shy about his preferences, and has no problems picking up guys and speaking freely about his feelings towards men, be it about his ex-lover Jiho or while describing to the reader why he had to break up with Jiho. His attitude is like a breath of fresh air compared to all these shy, blushing boys you usually get in these series. It’s also important to note he’s not the sleazy playboy type that is usually depicted in these series, either. He’s a normal person, which is almost unheard of in BL. He’s also a funny guy, and his reactions to being bullied are pretty entertaining.
Also entertaining is Mookyul. He’s also gay, and similarly, not much is made of his preferences. He just likes men, and has no problems getting what he wants. Not in the aggressive rape-fest way that is normal in this type of series, but he’s surly and has no problem asking, or demanding, when he wants something. He’s also pretty funny in that people are quite terrified of him, and seeing people jump to his sometimes bizarre whims is very amusing. He also has no problems keeping multiple lovers, and doesn’t think anyone else should either. This could go interesting places.
Also a plus is the fact that everyone is an adult (come to think of it, I can’t remember if they mention whether Mookyul is or not, but if he’s not, that’s totally bogus because he looks, acts, and functions like it), and while romance hasn’t kicked in yet, it looks like plot device #43: forgotten childhood friends/connection might kick in at any moment.
Honestly, I had a hard time not picking up volume two as soon as I finished this one. It’s not the serious yaoi drama I expected, but so far has a pretty light touch to its serious story and likable characters. I could see myself falling in love before all is said and done.